Why do so many companies in the UK, when they advertise managerial vacancies, state that they are only looking for people under the age of 45 - and, in some cases, much younger?
Colonel Harland Sanders was still promoting his Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 90. Artur Rubinstein was still giving concerts at the age of 94.
Rose Blumkin, in the US, quit running a furniture store in 1989 (at the age of 95) and started a new business, Mrs. B's Carpets, saying that work "keeps you young."
In the UK, the public quoted Investment Company has seen its shares rise from 25p in 1992 to 35p this year. The company's chairman and managing director, Major George Webb, was born in 1904.
Even better has been the track record of British and American Film Holdings, another quoted investment company which has consistently out-performed the FT-All Share Index. In the 26 years of his management control, Sir John Woolf has increased the company's net asset value by 44 times. Sir John is chairman and managing director and 80 years old.
What has comparative youth got to do with ability, experience and innovation? Even King Camp Gillette did not invent the disposable razor blade until he was 48 - yet within one year of manufacture sold over 12 million blades. Don't companies want successes like that?